Wando comeback surge falls just short

  • Sunday, December 29, 2013

Wando center Matt Pegram helped lead the Warriors' comeback against St. John's Saturday. PHOTO BY FRANKIE MANSFIELD

Saturday's scores
James Island 64, West Ashley 53
Summerville 53, Acad. Mag. 36
Goose Creek 39, Wings 38
N. Gwinnett 67, Buford 51
Pinewood 82, Chas. Coll. 76
Porter-Gaud 53, N. Chas. 40
Imhotep 48, Linden 45
St. John's 65, Wando 60
Monday's games
Imhotep vs. St. John's 7 p.m.
Goose Creek vs. N. Gwinnett 8:30 p.m.
Chas. Coll. vs. N. Chas. 10 a.m.
W. Ashley vs. Academic Mag. 11:30 a.m
Pinewood vs. Porter-Gaud 1 p.m.
J.I. vs. Summerville 2:30 p.m.
Wando vs. Linden 4 p.m.
Wings vs. Buford 5:30 p.m.

Wando head coach David Eaton doesn't believe in moral victories but admits his team discovered a new toughness Saturday in a 60-55 loss to the St. John's Cadets in the second round of the Rotary Roundball Classic at North Charleston High School.

Down 22 points at halftime, it would have been easy to check out. Wando was dominated in the first half by a team from Washington, D.C. brimming with Division I college talent. But the Warriors kept coming and with less than two minutes to play had at least two chances to tie the game.

“We learned a lot about ourselves tonight,” Eaton said. “We're tough. We could have kept our heads down and lost by 30 or 40 but our guys are tough. I think they showed that tonight.”

Wando (9-2) shot just 33 percent from the field in the first half against 51 percent shooting from St. John's. The Cadets' defensive press smothered the Warriors, creating 23 points off 17 turnovers. Midway through the half, Wando imploded during a 24-6 run the Cadets used to turn a tie game into a lopsided advantage.

“We haven't played talent like that,” Eaton said. “We weren't surprised by it, but it took us some time to get used to it. They played really well the first half but we didn't get our heads down. We just kept playing.”

Wando responded with a 22-7 run through the first six minutes of the second half. Taylor Majewski, Trevor Behrens, Andrew Glover and Amp Moore all rained in threes to cut the Cadets' lead down to four by the six-minute mark. The Warriors shot 45 percent from beyond the arc in the second half after a 9-percent effort in the first and gave us just six turnovers.

“We talked at halftime about being a man and going to get the ball,” Eaton said. “We played better defense, started to get some stops and our shooters were able to get open for better shots.”

Matt Pegram was the catalyst for Wando, dominating the post with nine points, 10 rebounds and three blocks in the second half. Wando limited St. John's to 31 percent shooting in the second half.

Jamez Rogers finished with 14 points, eight rebounds and three steals. Amp Moore added 10 points and seven rebounds, and Pegram finished with 11 points, 11 rebounds and four blocks. Wando outrebounded St. John's 48-31.

Mike Morsell led St. John's with a game-high 21 points, and added six rebounds. Darian Anderson scored 11 points with three steals, while Anthony Cowan turned in 10.

Wando will play Linden (N.J.) Monday at 4 p.m. for third place in the Rotary International Bracket. St. John's advances to the International Bracket championship game against Imhotep (Pa.)

With a 39-38 win over Wings Academy (N.Y.) Saturday, Goose Creek advances to the Rotary Foundation Bracket championship game against North Gwinnett (Ga.) at 7 p.m. Monday. //

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